Of No Fixed Abode

12th Isle • 2023

In 1965, Czech Fluxus artist Milan Knížák became the nightmare of all record-keepers. He had an idea: battered, bent, or burnt vinyl might sound interesting. Knížák began to destroy discs to perform with their remains. The concept of »broken music« has haunted the annals of sound art since, from German history to Sonic Youth. Thus, by taking up this tradition with their sophomore release »Of No Fixed Abode«, the Madrid-duo Miradasvacas is in good company. Instead of squandering precious PVC, they resort to reel-to-reel tape manipulation, scratching turntables, converted radios. Spice it up with a violin and »sound diaries« from Latin American festivals? Sí, por favor! Everything screams »gimmick«, posh bosh that sounds better in an oration than on a record. Yet, »Of No Fixed Abode« might catch you off guard with its down-to-earth tenderness. Like their obvious point of reverence, Wiliam Basinki’s »The Disintegration Loops«, Miradavascas’ fascination for decay is deeply life-affirming. Their arrangements are more rooted in well-known harmonies, if perhaps less memorable for it. »Of No Fixed Abode« is surprisingly unpretentious. The promo describes the album as »far-flung gallery sonics at their finest«. That’s not wrong. For »Of No Fixed Abode« is far from living between champagne flutes and showmanship. It can turn any sitting room into a quiet vernissage.